Kitchen Science | Making Stalactites

I try to sneak science experiments in when we can, depending on what the kids' interests might be.  I brought geodes back from Hocking Hills when I went in June.  So, Jaycee and I were smashing her geode one day and I decided to look up how to make crystals (which we still haven't done!).  But, in my search, I found instructions for how to make stalactites.  And, I thought that would be a cool experiment since we were planning on visiting the caverns in Virginia on vacation.
You can find the instructions at the Science Kids website.  Here are the pictures from our experiment.  We left ours at home while we were on vacation to see what we'd come back to.  The experiment calls for a piece of cotton string, twine, yarn, etc.  The only cotton I could find was a strip of cotton tshirt.  So, my "string" is probably a little thick!
The water and baking soda soaks up through the cotton and when the water drips, the minerals drip with it.  I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but the "string" was growing crystals all over it.  It wasn't just dripping from the bottom.  In the experiment, it's supposed to build from the top and the bottom, just like stalactites and stalagmites.  I believe the tour guide at the Luray Caverns said that their stalactites grow 1 square inch every 100 years!  If you'd like to learn more of the "technical" stuff about stalactites, you can check out the info on  And to see a few of our pictures from the Luray Caverns in Virginia, click HERE.

What kind of kitchen science experiments have you tried?

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